Sardar Aseff Ahmad Ali Daula (October 21, 1940 – May 19, 2022) was a distinguished Pakistani politician who held the position of 18th Foreign Minister of Pakistan between 1993 and 1996. He was a prominent member of both the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Peoples Party. On December 25, 2011, he became a member of PTI but resigned when the party chose to award the National Assembly ticket to Khurshid Kasuri instead of him.
Daula was elected to the National Assembly of Pakistan from Kasur in 1994, and then again in 2008, winning by a significant margin of ten thousand votes. Additionally, he held the roles of Minister for Education and Federal Minister of Information Technology and Telecommunication from 2008 to 2010. He returned to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on November 10, 2017, during a press conference with Imran Khan in Lahore.
Sardar Aseff Ahmed Ali hailed from a prominent landholding Arain family in the Punjab region, whose involvement in politics predates British rule in India. The family is known for its resistance to authority, having fought against both the Sikhs and the British. Sardar Aseff’s uncle, Sardar Muhammad Hussain, served as a Member of Parliament both before and after the partition, playing a crucial role in introducing the Pakistan Muslim League to the central Punjab region. His father, Sardar Ahmad Ali (politician), also held a parliamentary position throughout his career. Together with Sardar Muhammad Hussain, they spearheaded regional movements against the Unionist Party, which was led by affluent landowners and supported by the British.
Sardar Aseff Ahmed Ali studied at Lawrence College in Ghora Gali. He done his B.A. (Hons.) degree from Government College University, Lahore (1959–62), and a B.A. (Hons.) degree from St John’s College, Oxford (1963–1966).
Sardar Aseff Ahmad Ali was a senior member of the PPP (Pakistan People’s Party). He was the foreign minister of Pakistan in the cabinet of Benazir Bhutto during her second tenure as Prime Minister.
Minister of Economic Affairs
Sardar Aseff also served as the Minister for Economic Affairs during Nawaz Sharif’s government from 1991 to 1993. However, due to disagreements with the Prime Minister, he resigned from the cabinet. His departure, along with other parliament members, ultimately resulted in the downfall of the first Nawaz Sharif administration. As the Economic Affairs Minister, Sardar Aseff led numerous Pakistani civil society delegations and organizations to Russia, fostering business and diplomatic ties with various states that emerged after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In recognition of his efforts, he was granted honorary citizenship in both Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Foreign Minister of Pakistan
As Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, he was chosen without contest as the esteemed chairman of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. In 2003, he showcased his artistic talents in a captivating painting exhibition in Lahore, featuring his original sketches and paintings. The event drew the attention of then-Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali. In the most recent general elections, he secured his fifth triumphant return to the National Assembly, besting his long-standing rival, the departing foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri.
In 2017 he resigned from Pakistan Peoples Party and joined Party of Imran Khan former cricketer Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. He opposed Pervez Musharraf’s firing of Pakistan’s judiciary.
Daula passed away on May 19, 2022, at the age of 81 in a Lahore hospital where he was receiving treatment for a heart condition and suffered a heart attack